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NXT vs AEW! Who Won Wed/Thurs?

8/26 + 8/27/20

NXT vs AEW!

Oh hey! What’s goin’ on, wrestling fans?

Welcome to another week of NXT vs AEW Who Won Wed/Thurs…

Yes, chalk it up to lack of foresight on my part that I began this series just before AEW’s scheduling gauntlet. But enough about me, let’s get to the NXT vs AEW action!

NXT 8/26/20 (HOSTS – VIC JOSEPH, BETH PHOENIX, WADE BARRETT!!!)

  1. NXT TAKEOVER XXX RECAP
  2. KARRION KROSS (W/SCARLETT) PROMO
  3. BREEZANGO VS IMPERIUM (C) (NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH)
  4. DAMIAN PRIEST INTERVIEW
  5. JAKE ATLAS VS TOMASSO CIAMPA
  6. CANDICE LERAE PROMO
  7. MIA YIM VS SHOTZKI BLACKHEART
  8. WILLIAM REGAL PROMO
  9. ISAIAH “SWERVE” SCOTT VS SANTOS ESCOBAR (NXT CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP)
  10. JOHNNY GARGANO PROMO
  11. FINN BALOR PROMO
  12. KYLE O’REILLY (W/FISH & STRONG) VS DRAKE MAVERICK
  13. RHEA RIPLEY INTERVIEW
  14. ADAM COLE PROMO
  15. IO SHIRAI/RHEA RIPLEY VS DAKOTA KAI/RAQUEL GONZALEZ

TAKEOVER XXX RECAP –

  • (Yay/Boo) Wherein I enjoyed myself more than I thought I would until a main event that jobbed out my favorite and exposed Kross as being not quite ready for prime time.

KARRION KROSS (W/SCARLETT) PROMO –

  • (Boo) Kross hurt himself….in…..THAT match…and has to drop the belt? Wow, so now we killed Keith right before his call-up, only to have Kross’ push end as quickly as it started. Feel bad for Kross though, that’s gotta sting. Ouch, NXT. Ouch. What’s that Cole up to these days? Isn’t Daddy home again?…Or perhaps we could have 8 fatal 4-ways where the losers face each other in 8 triple threat matches and then….nah, f*ck it.
  • (YAY!!!) Good to hear (and see) Wade Barrett on WWE television again. Hopefully he’ll deliver some bad news before the evening ends.

BREEZANGO VS IMPERIUM (C) (NXT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH) –

  • (Boo) Oh, here’s the bad news; Breezango in a title match. It’s a more subliminal gimmick now I guess.
  • (Boo) Good Lord, this match is running through TWO commercial breaks?
  • FINISH (FANDANGO DEF AICHNER, LAST DANCE) – Nothing wrong with the in-ring work, which featured a nice finishing sequence, but it’s hard to take Breezango seriously after weeks of Legado del Fantasma knocking their d*cks in the dirt. I like Barthel and Aichner, but hoped they would have some more swagger and personality as champs at this point, so maybe it was time to pull the plug since NXT UK is kicking back up. ** 3/4*

DAMIAN PRIEST INTERVIEW –

  • (Yay) Thatcher/Priest? I could get into that. Both these gents have stock that is trending upwards.

JAKE ATLAS VS TOMASSO CIAMPA –

  • (Yay) Glad to see Atlas getting some screen time, as I think he’s got a bright future, but methinks Daddy will make short work of him.
  • (Yay) And hey, Ciampa’s back! Just in time for a vacant belt.
  • FINISH (CIAMPA DEF ATLAS, WILLOW’S BELL DDT) – Quick and simple, with added post-match Ciampa violence so we can rest easy that he’s still a sicko, and apparently a heel now. **
  • (Yay) Line of the night: Super Tan Ref to Ciampa “What are you thinking, dude?”
  • (Yay) And then he DDT’s Atlas OFF THE STRETCHER!!! Yummy heel work.

CANDICE LERAE PROMO –

  • (Boo) Candice and Tegan are having a shrug of a feud. Not a lot of fire from these two.

MIA YIM VS SHOTZI BLACKHEART

  • (Boo) Oh. Shotzi ran over Stone with her tank again. Joy… So she runs over Stone and that grants her a match for some reason? This some AEW shit right here
  • (Yay) Yim chopping Blackheart in the throat while she howls after a friendly break.
  • FINISH (BLACKHEART DEF YIM, TOP ROPE SENTON) – Wow, so I guess Yim is in Retribution and joining her partner on the main roster. Don’t mind Blackheart getting the rub here, but she was restrained (for her) this week. ** 1/4*

WILLIAM REGAL PROMO –

(YAY) – Well, if all this bad luck and booking has lead us to a 4-way IRON MAN MATCH with Gargano/Ciampa/Balor/Cole, it might just be worth it. That’s gonna be nuts.

ISAIAH “SWERVE” SCOTT VS SANTOS ESCOBAR (C) (NXT CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP) –

  • (Yay) I’m hoping this feud continues/extends, which is rare these days. Both of these guys should be around a long time and their in-ring styles mesh well.
  • (Boo) Man, another title match interrupted by two commercial breaks. Kills momentum.
  • FINISH (ESCOBAR DEF SCOTT, LOADED HEADBUTT) Solid back and forth match from two hybrid cruiserweights. A nice mix of mat-based and aerial stuff, and the high spots made sense in the context of the match. They missed the climax by a few minutes, but overall good stuff. Not sure where they’re going with the loaded Luchadore mask though. *** 1/4* NXT vs AEW

JOHNNY GARGANO PROMO –

  • (Boo?) Standard Gargano promo, which isn’t bad, it’s just the orange popsicle in the box of promos. I’ll eat it eventually, but I’m not excited about it.

FINN BALOR PROMO –

– (Yay) See, this is the standard Balor promo, but it’s just so much more captivating to me than the promo that preceded it.

KYLE O’REILLY (W/FISH & STRONG) VS DRAKE MAVERICK –

  • (Yay) Kyle’s in a singles match?!?! F*ck yes! What I’ll mark out for these days is hard to predict.
  • FINISH (O’REILLY DEF MAVERICK, HEEL HOOK) – Just a way of setting up a possible Dain Spud angle? But hey, O’Reilly went over, so my brain gives it ** but my heart gives it *****

RHEA RIPLEY INTERVIEW –

  • (Yay) Good, bout time for Rhea to get back in that title picture.

ADAM COLE PROMO –

  • (Boo) Cole seems a little too sure he’s done with Mr. McAfee. As wrong as I was about how Pat would perform, I hope he’s right.

IO SHIRAI/RHEA RIPLEY VS DAKOTA KAI/RAQUEL GONZALEZ –

  • (Yay) Gonzalez looks (a little) more comfortable than last I saw her in the ring. Smart that they’ve kept her to mostly Diesel duties before now, but maybe she’s ready for more.
  • (Yay) I do think Kai/Gonzalez could be a fun tag team if they keep them together and Gonzalez develops.
  • FINISH (GONZALEZ DEF RIPLEY, ONE ARM POWERBOMB) – Didn’t see Gonzalez goin over Ripley clean, but good to keep this team strong, especially if either Shirai or Ripley are movin’ on up to the Eastside soon. Took a while to get into high gear, but a lot of fun once it did. ***

– (Yay) Obviously a disappointing start, but it felt like a lot was happening this week, and especially in contrast to last week’s AEW, there are a ton of storylines developing as this felt like a bit of a reset.

AEW 8/27/20 (HOSTS – JIM ROSS, TONY SCHIAVONE)

  1. TAG TEAM GAUNTLET (NATURAL NIGHTMARES VS YOUNG BUCKS VS BEST FRIENDS VS FTR)
  2. DARBY ALLIN PROMO
  3. LANCE ARCHER (W/ROBERTS) VS SEAN MALUTA
  4. JAKE ROBERTS PROMO
  5. WOMEN’S TITLE PACKAGE
  6. MJF/MOXLEY AEW CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH CONTRACT SIGNING
  7. SANTANA/ORTIZ PROMO
  8. LUCHA BROS/BUTCHER & BLADE VS JOB SQUAD
  9. DARK ORDER CELEBRATION
  10. HANGMAN PAGE INTERVIEW
  11. BIG SWOLE VS BRITT BAKER/PENELOPE FORD/REBA
  12. SAMMY GUEVARA VS MATT HARDY (TABLES MATCH)

TAG TEAM GAUNTLET (NATURAL NIGHTMARES VS YOUNG BUCKS VS BEST FRIENDS VS FTR)

  • (Boo) Where’s Tazz? I’m cool if Jericho is joining later, but Tazz has been great so far. Still think he and JR are the ideal combo longterm.
  • (Boo) Well, I’ll take a gauntlet match over and 8-man tag, so that probably means there’ll be one of those later too. You notice how there are more tag matches on Dynamite every week EXCEPT for Tag Team Appreciation Night?
  • (Boo) So, the teams in the match? No entrance. The guy commentating? Full entrance. I love Jericho, but this is just a dumb way to layout your opening.
  • (Yay) Hey, as long as they obeyed distancing rules like they claimed, I gotta say it’s nice to have some actual crowd noise.
  • BUCKS DEF NIGHTMARES, BTE-TRIGGER – Well, no suspense here, so at least it was short. Will review when gauntlet concludes
  • (Yay) Line of the night (so far): Jericho (re: Best Friends #2 rankinga) “They’re #2 all right.”
  • (Boo) Hangman turns finally…by holding onto Jackson’s leg so Trent can win via rollup? (fart noise) This basically makes everyone look like an idiot, but at least I know FTR’s going over later now.
  • (BEST FRIENDS DEF YOUNG BUCKS, ROLL-UP) – A little more life here, but still just flat, with no story until the angle they’ve been meandering with for months sputters into fruition. Hey, you know what would have added suspense to these proceedings? If you started with the two underneath teams, but then the Bucks wouldn’t get their half an hour plus of tv time, so…
  • (Yay) Please let FTR just kick the ever-loving sh*t out of the minivan tandem! Put them over strong FOR ONCE
  • (Boo) Yeah, let’s go to picture-in-picture for almost the entire heat sequence. Who directs this sh*t?
  • (Boo) How does Rick Knox still have a job? He literally just went from telling Chuck he’s pinning the illegal man to f*cking counting the pinfall. How can anyone with self-respect not be insulted by this mess?
  • FINISH (FTR DEF BEST FRIENDS, KNEE BAR) – Got all sloppy after the ref confusion, but FTR won and they kinda, sorta, pulled the plug on the Hangman turn, so I guess it wasn’t a complete waste. And hey, if you’ve forgotten to give most of your roster a program, have one program take up 30% of the show. ** 1/4*, mostly for Jericho’s commentary.

DARBY ALLIN… PROMO?

  • (Boo) Darby jumps off a bridge to prove he’s not scared of Ricky Starks (sound of head hitting desk repeatedly).

LANCE ARCHER (W/JAKE “THE SNAKE” ROBERTS) VS SEAN MALUTA

  • (Yay?) Hey, Maluta went from jobbing for NXT to jobbing for AEW. Not sure that’s upward movement.
  • FINISH (ARCHER DEF MALUTA, BLACKOUT/CLAW) – Good, Archer needed a quick squash to help wash off the stink of his poorly-booked earlier push. This guy could work out if they handle him properly; let’s see if they do. P.S. That chokeslam should be your finish. **

JAKE ROBERTS PROMO –

  • (Boo) Jake, Barney wasn’t a Flintstone. He was a Rubble.
  • (Yay) Hey, if you wanna let Tazz and Jake go back and forth on the mic, I’m here for that. Just gotta teach Jake not step on Tazz’s lines.
  • (Yay) Darby’s here! Guess he dried off after the plunge…

WOMEN’S TITLE PACKAGE –

  • (YAY) Rosa seems like she’s years ahead of most of the current roster, hope they go ahead and take the title off the snore-inducing Shida.

AEW CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH CONTRACT SIGNING (MJF, MOXLEY) –

  • (Boo) Oh good, from one contract signing to another. Of all the boring repetitive segments to borrow from WWE, this ain’t the one.
  • (Boo) Does anyone really care what PWI’s rankings are anymore?
  • (Boo) Pointing out how each contract signing is predictable doesn’t save the segment from being predictable.
  • (Boo) Even MJF can’t save this from dragging on. They really killed the heat on this match two weeks back.
  • (Yay) It’s a small crowd, but it’s a crowd. Thank you MJF for recognizing that and actually interacting with them.
  • (Boo) Moxley doesn’t look like such a badass when MJF’s lawyer is able to yell at him with no more than a “sit down, dickwad” as a retort. Oh, he’s going to have a match with him? Who doesn’t wanna see that?

SANTANA/ORTIZ PROMO –

  • (Boo) How do you take a team with dwindling credibility and keep them looking tough and imposing? Continue a feud based on vandalizing a mini-van. Ooh, they won’t apologize!!!

LUCHA BROS/BUTCHER & BLADE (w/KINGSTON) VS JANELA/KISS/PILLMAN/GARRISON –

  • (Boo) Fuck me, I really didn’t know there was an 8-man tag coming when I made that earlier remark. I deserve this punishment.
  • (Yay) BEST THING ON EITHER SHOW THIS WEEK – Eddie Kingston’s “All Lives Can’t Matter Until Black Lives Matter” Shirt.
  • FINISH (PENTA DEF PILLMAN, DOUBLE ARM DDT) – Unsurprisingly just a bunch of spots. Only thing that peaked my interest was Pillman, who I enjoyed on the Indies, and I hope gets some camera time under his belt. ** 1/4* NXT vs AEW 

DARK ORDER CELEBRATION –

  • (Boo) Dream cars? Lawnmowers? What am I missing here? Is this a rib?
  • (Boo) Archer says everyone dies; Moxley says MJF is a dead man; they’re even draping a flag over Cody’s coffin. For a show that’s so f*cking soft, they sure do talk about death a lot.
  • (Boo) It only took a month for them to introduce Anna Jay properly.
  • (Boo) Brody’s claims that the Dark Order is the hottest “act” in professional wrestling and he is the hottest champ makes most of the RNC’s content this week 1% less laughable. He literally called it an act.
  • (Boo) Oh God, this is setting up another 8 man tag, isn’t it? Just kill me now.

HANGMAN PAGE INTERVIEW –

  • (Boo) Any time the Bucks speak, they sound like whiny tweens.

BIG SWOLE VS BRITT BAKER/PENELOPE FORD/REBA (HANDICAP MATCH) –

  • FINISH (SWOLE DEF FORD, REBA CRUTCH BOTCH) – Nothing to review here, just short and sloppy as we head to the obvious outcome. Britt can not get 100% healthy soon enough.

SAMMY GUEVARA VS MATT HARDY (TABLES MATCH) –

  • (Boo) Fellas, putting yourself through a table and busting yourself open during a picture-in-picture break is just dumb on multiple levels.
  • FINISH (GUEVARA DEF HARDY, SUPERPLEX THROUGH TABLE) – Most exciting portion of the match happened during commercial. Hardy is really sad to watch at this point. ** 1/4*

AEW this week was its usual non-sensical crap-fest, HOWEVER, they at least attempted to start some new feuds and storylines, clumsy as the attempts were. But NXT continues to be head and shoulders above when it comes to in-ring work, and that’s what I’m a sucker for. NXT vs AEW winner? Once again, this week goes to…..

NXT

Join me again next week for more NXT vs AEW reportage from the frontline of the Wednesday Night War!

Written by Steve Lange

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